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Pilot, wing walker dead in stunt plane crash at Ohio air show

June 22, 2013|By Devin Kelly

A fiery crash at an Ohio air show on Saturday killed a wing walker and her pilot, officials said. 

Video shows professional wing walker Jane Wicker sitting on the wing when the inverted plane suddenly twists downward, crashing into the grassy lawn and bursting into flames.  

A statement posted on the Jane Wicker Airshows Facebook page said that she died along with her pilot.

“We ask for your prayers for the families and privacy of all involved and allow them time to grieve and work through these events,” the statement said.

No other injuries were reported. The crash occurred about 1 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show at Dayton International Airport.

Dayton International Airport spokeswoman Linda Hughes confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that two people had died, though she and other officials have not yet released the names. The FAA and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating the crash.

All remaining performances were canceled for the day. The show will resume normal operations on Sunday, air show officials said in a statement.

Ian Hoyt, 20, an aviation photographer and licensed pilot, told the Associated Press he was taking photos as the plane passed by and was preparing to take another shot.

"Then I realized they were too low and too slow. And before I knew it, they hit the ground," he said. "I'm still shaking.”

Wicker received her pilot’s license in 1989 and started performing as a wing walker after responding to a Flying Circus Airshow ad in 1990, according to a biography on the company website. 

She also works as a budget analyst with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the biography.

“I’m never nervous or scared because I know if I do everything as I usually do, everything’s going to be just fine,” Wicker told WDTN Channel 2 in Dayton this week. 

This is the second fatal crash at the Dayton show in six years. In 2007, Jim LeRoy, a veteran stunt pilot, was killed when his biplane crashed and burned.  

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devin.kelly@latimes.com

Twitter: @devkelly17

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